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White House Announces 9 Pardons by President Obama

The White House announced Friday, December 3, 2010 that President Barack Obama has pardoned 9 people of for a wide range of crimes. Though officials in Washington, DC, did not comment on why Obama chose to pardon the people of their crimes, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin offered a statement which read: "The President was moved by the strength of the applicants' post-conviction efforts at atonement, as well as their superior citizenship and individual achievements in the years since their convictions."

The pardons included: James Bernard Banks of Liberty, Utah, who was sentenced to 2 years of probation in 1972 for illegal possession of government property; Russell James Dixon of Clayton, Georgia, who was sentenced to two years of probation in 1960 for a liquor law violation; Laurens Dorsey of Syracuse, New York, who was sentenced in 1998 to five years of probation and $71,000 in restitution for conspiracy to defraud by making false statements to the Food and Drug Administration; Ronald Lee Foster of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, who was sentenced in 1963 to one year of probation and $20 in fines for mutilating coins; Timothy James Gallagher of Navasota, Texas, who was sentenced in 1972 to three years of probation for cocaine possession and conspiracy to distribute; Roxane Kay Hettinger of Powder Springs, Georgia, who was sentenced in 1986 to 30 days in jail and three years of probation for conspiracy to distribute cocaine; Edgar Leopold Kranz, Jr, of Minot, North Dakota who received 2 years of confinement and a pay reduction for cocaine abuse, adultery, and bad checks;
Floretta Leavy of Rockford, Illinois, who was sentenced to 366 days in prison and three years of parole in 1984 for drug offenses; and Scoey Lathaniel Morris, of Crosby, Texas, sentenced in 1991 to three years of probation and $1,200 in restitution for counterfeiting offenses.

Since 2008, Obama has received over 551 pardon petitions. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 265 of the pardon petitions were closed without any input from Obama and 131 were denied.

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